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Mike Keesling

Mike's Articles

Universal Robotics Controller
Column: Personal Robotics
March 2004
Very often, in our quest for functionality, we stray away from our processor of choice when we need a feature that just isn't found in our magic bag of tricks. Often times, we are forced to look in directions we wouldn't normally consider.

PERSONAL ROBOTICS
Column: Personal Robotics
May 2004
Let’s face it, the real core of robotics is information processing. What is done with the information a robot gathers truly determines its behavior. At the simplest level, that information could be a series of commands and times to perform them. Even at that level, there is still sensing going on; in this case, we are sensing the ticks of a clock. While this is a great start, watching your robot roll off your desk or ram into a wall because it had no sense of its surroundings gets old really fas

PERSONAL ROBOTICS
Column: Personal Robotics
July 2004
It sounds easy, but — for many of us — it is a major mental block. We dream and hope, yet cannot achieve. I go through the same thing when it comes to programming or writing, but the difference is, you can easily destroy something if you build it improperly, but playing with words and code is like playing with vapor. Like the old saying, “but words will never hurt me,” code doesn’t break like physical things do.

PERSONAL ROBOTICS
Column: Personal Robotics
August 2004
This month, I would like to take a few words to update everyone on the progress of some of my other projects, tease you with some new ones, talk about some things that don’t warrant a whole article, and talk a little philosophically.

PERSONAL ROBOTICS
Column: Personal Robotics
September 2004
Some of us build robots for the educational aspects, others for a creative outlet. Some of us undoubtedly have a god complex or parenthood issues, but there is one thing that you can’t deny and that is that robots are great for impressing your friends.

A Look at Robotic Behavior
Column: Personal Robotics
December 2004
At the rate I have been adding motors, drivers, and sensors to my projects, I will be in a lot of trouble in only a few years. I have done 12 motored centipedes, 18 jointed hexapods, and I am planning a robotic ecosystem with 30 robots with three motors each. Of course, at some point, this has to stop; I’ll need to scale back.

Basic Language Comparisons
Column: Personal Robotics
February 2005
As we approach middle age, we often try to re-assert our youth. For some, this manifests itself as an overwhelming need to buy a red Corvette, sunglasses, and possibly trade in the old wife for one with that “new wife smell.” For geeks like me, we remember the old days when a computer was powerful if it had a video screen, mass storage was something you did with an audio cassette, and Basic was this remarkable language that allowed you to make your computer do amazing feats...

LEGO My ...
Column: Personal Robotics
April 2005
LEGO® has become something of a household word. If you grew up in the 50s or later, you probably owned a set or hoped to, in any case. It is not only a part of our culture, but also has international appeal. LEGO started out making small wooden toys in the 1930s. They slowly grew, adding plastics to their repertoire of materials.

Bouncing Ideas Around for a Ball Bouncing Robot
Column: Personal Robotics
June 2005
The bug has been stirring in me for quite some time. I rued over doing a giant, 22’ long robotic centipede with 36 cheap electric drills. I considered doing a seven-joint-per-leg biped, and even a 10-legged scorpion. After several days of incessant moaning at work, my co-workers suggested that I build a one-legged hopper. Now, I have done some stupid things on a dare, and although I am mad, I most certainly am not crazy.

Hey, Mikey Likes It!
Column: Personal Robotics
August 2005
A Review on the Hexcrawler HDATS

The Ball Bot
Column: Personal Robotics
October 2005
To recap, a simple description of the Ball Bot would be “a two-axis inverted pendulum.” The operative word here is simple. In its implementation, it is three belt-reduced, encoded motors driving some Omniwheels sitting on top of abasketball — with a bunch of inertial sensors and a DSP thrown in for good measure.

Robo-Potpourri
Column: Personal Robotics
February 2006
Yes folks, it is time for Robo-Potpourri. Robo-Potpourri is the lost and found of my writing endeavors, a time to pick up little loose ends and such.

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